Rows of glasses

An ethical perspective is the lens an individual uses to view a problem. Each person has such a perspective, whether or not they realize it.

There are a variety of theories you can use when figuring out an ethical decision. Several ethical perspectives have been around for centuries, including utilitarianism, natural law, consideration of rights and justice, virtue ethics, and the idea of social contract.

Whatever perspective is used – or promoted within an organization – will ultimately shape how ethical decisions are reached.


Company Snapshot: Conscious Capitalism – Core to The Container Store’s Success

BY JESSICA GUO The third of three Company Snapshots, these research-based pieces by guest author Jessica Guo look at aspects of successful companies that can…

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Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People

An Ethical Systems Book Review BY DAVID NEWMAN Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good Peopleby Lynn Stout (public library)Summarized by David Newman…

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The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

An Ethical Systems Book Review BY DAVID NEWMAN The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evilby Philip ZimbardoRandom House Publishing…

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Breaking the Fever, episode 16: Ayin Jambulingam

Ayin Jambulingam, a culture and leadership consultant based in Malaysia, explores the historical, political and cultural factors driving the Covid-19…

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Honoring multiple stakeholders without losing our moral grounding

Most people would agree that leaders are responsible for balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders. But knowing that, we are…

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How to let altruism be your guide

What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness…

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Perspective is everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes…

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Would you sacrifice one person to save five?

Imagine you're watching a runaway trolley barreling down the tracks, straight towards five workers. You happen to be standing next…

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Practical Guidance

Moral Agent

What is a moral agent? Learn about this ethics concept in this video from the McCombs School of Business. For more video definitions, select from the list on this page.

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Moral Imagination

Moral imagination is our ability to think outside the box and envision ways to be both ethical and successful.

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Moral Equilibrium

When we do something good we get to thinking of ourselves as pretty good people, and can then give ourselves license to fail to live up to our own ethical standards. This phenomenon is known as moral equilibrium.

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Framing describes how our responses to situations, including our ethical judgments, are impacted just by how those situations are posed or viewed.

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Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics

BY JEREMY WILLINGER Introducing Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics, a new eBook created for anyone interested in improving the effectiveness of compliance and ethics (C&E) programs in organizations. About: Head to Head is structured as a series of dialogs between ES collaborator Jeff Kaplan and our CEO Azish Filabi on various facets of compliance and ethics work. By integrating social and behavioral science research with the core elements of effective compliance and ethics programs, Head to Head helps practitioners broaden their focus to behavior and culture in organizations, enhancing their approach to risk management. Advance Praise for Head to Head “In this innovative resource on a cutting…

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Designing a Good Life, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, 2015

An Ethical Systems Highlighted Syllabus BY ETHICAL SYSTEMS Download syllabus for Designing a Good Life, taught at University of Chicago Booth’s School of Business in 2015 by Nick Epley.  Download

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An Ethical Plan for Ending the Pandemic and Restarting the Economy

In this conversation, Danielle Allen talks with TED head Chris Anderson about how to deal with both the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting global economic crisis.

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Practically speaking: defining an ethical perspective

Nicole Zwieg Daly, J.D, Ed.D. Let's break this down into its two parts. First, let's define ethical or ethics. Ethics are the moral principles or values that govern an individual's behavior(s). Second, let's define perspective. A perspective is a person's particular attitude toward something or his/her unique point of view. Perspective can change everything. Think of it like this: An individual's perspective is like a pair of glasses he/she wears. The person views the world through those glasses each and every day. Now, let's add an accessory to the glasses, say it's a polarized tint for those sunny days. The…

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Rights and responsibilities between employer and employee

Everyone has heard stories of unethical managers who are unfair to their employees. This video from Gregg Learning provides the basics on how companies and managers can treat employees more ethically (and vice versa). Human resources professionals must help create a work environment that honors fairness, protects individual privacy, treats all workers with dignity and respect, while at the same time allowing the business to succeed. This video originally appeared on YouTube on Sept. 30, 2018. Used by kind permission of Gregg Learning. Please visit Gregg Learning on YouTube and Facebook.

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The ethics of online spin

The word "ask" in the question poses an interesting ethical conundrum. Q: Our company recently released a group of disgruntled employees who have since written negative reviews online. Is it appropriate to ask long-term employees to write about their more positive experiences? A: The short answer is that it would not be appropriate. We live in a world where the internet and social media present incredible opportunities to share positive, hopeful and impactful perspectives and information worldwide. At the same time, these platforms are utilized as a virtual soapbox to share negative, highly critical viewpoints and information. I recommend considering…

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